May Day Protests Sweep the Globe

Russia, Malaysia, Taiwan, France ... the planet marches

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted May 1, 2012 7:21 AM CDT | Updated May 1, 2012 7:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – May Day rallies are in effect in all corners of the globe, from Greece and Iraq to France and the Philippines—and, soon, stateside. What began as an international workers' holiday has morphed into an international day of protest, fueled in part by the Occupy Wall Street movement, with Asians clamoring for increased wages and Europeans blasting the austerity measures sweeping their continent. Thus far, all seems largely peaceful: Some 100,000 people took to the streets in Moscow, joined by a "happily chatting" Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, reports the AP, while in Manila, some 8,000 red-shirted workers had their demand for a $3-a-day pay raise rejected by the president ... who was burned in effigy.

Reuters reports that 5,000 marched peacefully in Athens (though they held signs declaring "Revolt Now), and tens of thousands more are expected in Lisbon and in Spain, where unions have pushed for protests in 80 towns and cities. In the US, New York to Los Angeles and cities in between are bracing for what the Post predicts will be " hellacious commutes," thanks in part to a planned Williamsburg Bridge-to-Wall Street march and a "Bike Bloc" in Union Square.

A Greek Communist party supporters holds a red carnation during a May Day protest on Tuesday May 1, 2012, in the Aspropyrgos industrial area, outside Athens.
A Greek Communist party supporters holds a red carnation during a May Day protest on Tuesday May 1, 2012, in the Aspropyrgos industrial area, outside Athens.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Greek Communist party supporters take part in a May Day protest on Tuesday May 1, 2012.
Greek Communist party supporters take part in a May Day protest on Tuesday May 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
A protester wears a shirt with words that read We are worker, We are not slavery  during a rally marking May Day in Hong Kong Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
A protester wears a shirt with words that read "We are worker, We are not slavery " during a rally marking May Day in Hong Kong Tuesday, May 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A protester holds a placard during a march as part of the annual May Day workers' events on May 1, 2012 in the western French city of Rennes.
A protester holds a placard during a march as part of the annual May Day workers' events on May 1, 2012 in the western French city of Rennes.   (Getty Images)
Doctors from a local hospital display placards protesting against overtime working hours during a May Day rally in Taipei on May 1, 2012.
Doctors from a local hospital display placards protesting against overtime working hours during a May Day rally in Taipei on May 1, 2012.   (Getty Images)
Militants and labour union members (top-L) gather around a burning the effigy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Manila on May 1, 2012.
Militants and labour union members (top-L) gather around a burning the effigy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Manila on May 1, 2012.   (Getty Images)
Iraqi-Kurdish members of the Communist party hold gardening tools and political banners during a march in northern Iraqi city of Arbil to mark May Day.
Iraqi-Kurdish members of the Communist party hold gardening tools and political banners during a march in northern Iraqi city of Arbil to mark May Day.   (Getty Images)
An elderly Russian woman carries Soviet flag during a communist Party supporters rally to mark May Day in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
An elderly Russian woman carries Soviet flag during a communist Party supporters rally to mark May Day in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
38%
3%
7%
2%
47%
2%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   BuzzFeed   |   Cracked   |   World History Project   |   POPSUGAR Tech   |   Business Insider   |   HuffPost Entertainment